Queen Charlottes steelhead are a winter-run fish, and are known for their strength and impressive size for such small waters. Fishing Queen Charlottes steelhead you will find only wild, strong fish that will compare to the strongest strains of steelhead in the world. We often catch these fish as they first enter fresh water and the neon glow of their bright silver scales seems to illuminate an entire pool. These Queen Charlottes fish represent the best winter-run steelhead fishing in the world. Most Queen Charlottes steelhead start life in the streams that feed lakes, which in turn feed other streams that outflow to the ocean.
One important factor to remember when fishing Queen Charlottes is that all these streams and rivers are very small, especially if you compare them to the other classified rivers of B.C. It is unique in the fact that the majority of Queen Charlottes steelhead are mainstem spawners. Unlike most larger systems, where many of the steelhead hold up at creek mouths for the right water flow to enter for spawning, the majority of these fish actually spawn in main rivers themselves.
The early run of steelhead will typically stay in the river for quite some time while they mature to spawn, whereas the fish that show up in April or later can spawn and leave the system all within a week's time. Most streams that hold steelhead on the Charlottes are lake-headed (the Yakoun, the Copper, Pallant Creek and many others).
Once the Queen Charlottes steelhead start life in the gravel of the stream bed, they are subject to many stream-side predators before migration to the sea. Some steelhead migrate the next spring to the ocean and spend one to three years before returning. The majority remain in their natal streams for two years and then migrate downstream to the ocean to complete the sea-run phase.
Along the road to Moresby Camp that goes right by the lodge, there are a number of small streams, almost ditches, in which Queen Charlottes steelhead spawn. These fish can easily be spotted, paired-up holding or actively spawning, usually under some overgrowth of salmonberry bush or alder trees. These fish are extremely strong and truly at the top of the steelhead evolution. You can put Queen Charlottes steelhead up against any other in the world, and pound for pound, they will win.
Our fish average 10 to 12 pounds but tend to be a little thicker and stronger than fish from most summer runs. The Yakoun has the largest average size among the rivers we fish but the Copper can match the Yakoun fish for fish, at times. The Yakoun also provides the highest catch rate for our rivers, and under good water conditions you can expect to hook into a few fish each day. The smaller streams tend to be quite consistent as well, and you can expect to hook into one or two fish every day.